Jose Altuve stepped up with two outs in the bottom of the 9th of Game 6 of the 2019 ALCS, after the game’s most feared closer, Aroldis Chapman walked George Springer on five pitches. Chapman had lost his fastball command in Springer’s at bat, and it carried into Altuve’s at-bat, as two fastballs sailed high and away from Altuve. The next pitch, a “get-me-over” slider for a strike, got praise from the announcers: “Great pitch,” said Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz. Altuve spit on it. With Chapman’s inability to control the fastball, Jose knew exactly what was coming next.
Altuve took that following pitch, a poorly located and predictable slider, off the back wall of Minute Maid Park, sending the city of Houston into a frenzy, and the Astros to their second World Series. Unlike earlier in the series (game 3) when he wore throwback 3000v2s to beat the Yankees, Altuve wore this year’s 4040v4 cleats in white with a blue and orange fade. He swung his favorite Victus JA27 model bat with a player exclusive version of the Franklin Pro Classic batting gloves with his “MVP” badge on the strap.